Dec 2014 - Back in the scene, back to Manor Park, Gig for Terri & more....
Back in Northern Ireland since Dec 17th. Was a pretty last minute decision to come over, but a bunch of things came up to do including some studio recording, but whilst here I've been catching up with some old friends and getting back involved in the NI music scene like it 'twas 2002 again.
» NO PARACHUTE @ ESTABLISHED, BELFAST. 18.12.2014
Before touring the world as manager of ASIWYFA, Graham Smith was a photographer and shot my first band 3 times, as well as doing UN including the cover shot for "21st Century Redemption Songs".
On the 18th we went to his "No Parachute" exhibition at Established Coffee. It's a preview of the upcoming book he's doing with Rory which documents ASIWYFA touring around the world. The Morocco's, the Benicassim's, the homecoming shows in Belfast. All shot with a smart phone, since Graham has retired from "formal shooting". See his page for more info, I'm buying mine when it's out.
» THE ANSWER & LO MEJOR @ DIAMOND ROCK. 20.12.2014
Next up was The Answer's Christmas Party @ Diamond Rock Club. Stevie Blues (or, Horner as he's been known to me since 2002) was supporting with his new band LO MEJOR. The massive voice that characterized Swanee River, and before that The Afterglow is obviously still there, and a bunch of new tunes. The pick for me are "Watch Me Bleed" & "Gracie". After the gig we got philosophical about life priorities versus being in a band, and how you go from drinking pure fruit juice on stage to a pint of pure Gin. Anyway, impressed with how his new band are working behind him and lookin' forward to seeing them again.
This would be my 14th show by The Answer, going back to 2003. My first band were on the 2004 Glasgowbury bill when they headlined. In many ways the same things that made them great then are what keeps them great now. The chemistry between the 4 of them is magic, you always got the impression they were in this to be great and get to the very top. Always rock solid tight, even when Paul is complaining they were rusty. New Horizon (the last one) is my favorite record so far, but got to hear I think 3 new ones from the forthcoming "Raise a Little Hell", which should arrive in my inbox soon via Pledge. Under The Sky always works too, from the first record.
» Blue Celtic Moon.
Here's a blog about UN by Mary Mac Thomais on the Hard Drive Promotions website, in the "Blue Celtic Moon" section. Thanks to her.
» GIG FOR TERRI @ THE LIMELIGHT, BELFAST. 28.12.2014
A couple of nights ago was the GIG FOR TERRI at the Limelight, Belfast. Terri Hooley being the guy behind Good Vibrations Records, The Undertones, The Defects, etc who had the film Good Vibrations made about his life. It's an excellent film, see it now. He's having heart trouble though and will be out of action for a couple of months and unable to run Good Vibrations (the record store). So a bunch of NI musicians got together and did a benefit.
Extremely talented guy. Songs, voice & performance were top. Finished with "Old Man River".
TIM WHEELER / ASH
"Shining Light" with Duke Special on Keys & Voice was a great moment. It was a UK No.1 single at a time when having a No.1 meant something. "Girl From Mars" made an appearance too, and a version of Terri's favorite song "Be My Baby" with Nathan Connolly from Snow Patrol & Bronagh Gallagher from The Commitments film too. Anyway, Tim can write 'em.
VERSE CHORUS VERSE
Another great set from Tony "VerseChorusVerse" (ex-ASIWYFA). Great originals, well chosen standards, great Terri Hooley impression. Think he lied to me about having no voice though, because it sounded great. Click below for an album of photos by mikapix.
» 2ND ALBUM UPDATE: MANOR PARK.
Having at least a couple of studio dates while over here to try and move ever closer to completing a second album. It's not nearly ready yet, but the time to start hearing a few new singles is coming much sooner. On January 13th I'm going to Manor Park, planning to put the final mix on "Don't Wanna Kill For Religion", and hence also be able to release the video for that. But also put down tracks on some other songs including a new one I wrote on the plane coming over which suits the theme perfectly of the next album. Me & Rodger recorded the Lovechild stuff at Manor Park back when it wasn't yet a residential studio like now. But what we did got tonnes of airplay and it was always great working there with Neal.
Keep checking the Latest News feed for updates in between now and the Jan update!
The next blog will be more Unquiet Nights centric.
Happy new year...